Luke Ravenstahl is bringing out the big guns in his PR blitz for privatizing city parking garages and meters.

Former Mayor Sophie Masloff taped a video message in favor of the deal this morning at the mayor's office, comparing it to her successful (but controversial) 80s/90s efforts to privatize the zoo, Phipps Conservatory, the Aviary and the Schenley golf course. Her YouTube message -- nailed in two takes -- will be featured in the latest version of the city's website when a pilot page for the mayor's office launches Monday.

Masloff, a Ravenstahl supporter, is a member of his advisory committee on the proposed long-term lease of the garages, which the mayor argues is necessary to bail out the city's 27.5 percent funded pension plan. "I'm sold on it. I've been through the various plans and don't see an alternative," Mrs. Masloff said in an interview. "Somebody has to pay. I don't see any other viable solutions" for rescuing the fund.

After the taping, the former city council president made her first visit to Council Chambers in 15 years, causing an impromptu receiving line of well-wishers to line up, and council to briefly recess and pose for a photo with her. (Photo by McNulty's iPhone above.)

All in all it was quite the busy day for the ex-mayor, who was also featured in a Post-Gazette editorial cartoon this morning (below) by her pal Rob Rogers.



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